“I met Jake at a frat party when I was nineteen. We were drunk, we…you know.” I shrugged. “We were just together after that. He never asked me out; I never accepted.”
Our heroine in Well Met by Jen Dulca is Emily who is fresh out of a breakup with her ex boyfriend Jake. Jake and Emily met at a party when they were 19 and their relationship just sort of happened after that. While together, Jake convinced Emily to quit college where she was pursuing an English Degree, to work two jobs and help provide for him as he pursued his law degree. Jake gets his degree and offered a job..and dumps Emily.
Then Emily’s older sister and niece are in a bad car accident which brings her to Willow Creek, Maryland. She moves in with her sister to help with normal day to day things. Em’s niece really wants to participate in the town’s Renaissance Faire but has to have an adult sign up with her, so Emily steps up, signing up to be a tavern wench. Enter Simon. These two can’t stand each other, basically immediately. But then the two get into character and Emily realizes he’s kind of hot. Eventually for both Emily and Simon, feelings begin to change.
“April was right. I hadn’t been on this side of the grounds much at all. Except for the first day of Faire. The hand fasting. That day had been the beginning of everything between Simon and me. The first time he’d kissed me, even though it was staged. The first time I’d felt his hand around mine and felt safe. Protected. Like he was the one I was meant to be with. It had all been fake emotion brought on by being in character and fancy words spoken while our hands had been bound together with a golden chord. But it had been real, and more importantly, it had led to something real.”
I’m sure you’ve seen this book somewhere as it is all over the place at the moment. Well Met is very original. It brings something fresh to the lineup of 2019 romance releases with the Renaissance Faire theme. What I liked most about this book was the premise and the plot. I liked that Emily stepped up and was there for her sister and niece during a period of their lives when they are trying to get things back to normal. This also allowed Emily and her sister to work on their sisterly relationship that they never really got to have due to their age difference.
I liked the hate to Love relationship between Emily and Simon. The faire is a very big deal to Simon who we learn
gradually, makes the faire a priority in honor of his deceased brother, who the faire was once upon a time, a big deal to. Simon is also an English teacher so he knows what he is talking about. He doesn’t think Emily takes things seriously and also thinks her and this guy Mitch are a thing. Mitch and Simon grew up together but were complete opposites: Mitch was the big, buff, popular guy and Simon was the nerd living in his brother’s shadow. The walls between Emily and Simon slowly come down once they give each other a chance and actually communicate. I enjoyed the pacing. It was a while before things start to shift between the two and I liked that it wasn’t rushed.
My only issue with Well Met, was that for a large part of the book it felt that Emily continuously resorted to her “I’m not good enough,” internal struggle so much, and we weren’t seeing any action on her part to grow from it, move on from it, or do something about it. I will admit, I cried at the end, but even with the beautiful ending, I was left to feel..does Simon making this vow to show her everyday how important she is, have to be what she needs to feel important? Emily is super smart, she holds her own with the literature talk with Simon. She steps up to help her sister and niece get back on their feet. She helps the Queen with the bookstore/cafe idea and is the no brainer person to run the store when the Queen needs to take off for a while..like there are so many arrows pointing to Emily being a pretty bad ass woman. I wish we would have seen more of her recognizing her self-worth on her own.
To not end off on a bad note though, Well Met is worth the read. Read it because it is going to be different than the 2019 releases we have had thus far. I really think the faire setting brings something totally different to the genre and it’s exciting. Deluca’s writing I am rooting for. There were no complaints there and I am excited to see what else she has in store for us.
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Let me know if you have already read Well Met, what your thoughts about it are and if not, is it something you plan to pick up. We will chat again soon. Until then, take care of yourselves.